Imagine a world where, when Mum makes her morning cup of tea or Dad turns on the TV, all the family get a message that everything is OK … or, more importantly, sends an alert if things may not be. That is what the 3rings platform does. See 3rings.co.uk. The 3rings plug turns appliances into devices that are part of the ‘Internet of Things (IoT).’ This creates a distributed network for family care. So as people go about their normal lives – the cooker, fridge, thermostat, TV, Kettle, doorbell, etc. all contribute to monitoring their ‘well being’ … keeping the family/carers informed if there are things that may need attention. Several explanatory videos are available on YouTube.
The Colchester Helpline Service offers a wide range of telecare and related services to over 3000 people – helping them to live independently at home and giving, both them and their families, peace of mind. Significantly, as well as the core service that offers monitoring, Helpline includes the option of daily reassurance and prompt calls (for medication and other purposes); and for those who may be particularly at risk because of cognitive impairment, GPS tracking is offered. The response service, meanwhile, includes lifting for service users who may have fallen. Helpline is embedded within the Borough Council.
Dignio provides a platform for broad-based telehealth services in Norway. They are extending their offering in the area of remote patient monitoring and home rehabilitation. They operate services for a number of municipal authorities (whose remit includes both social care and community health). Information on their services is available at http://www.dignio.com/ . A presentation (in Norwegian) is available at http://www.slideshare.net/innovasjonnorge/dignio-alkymisten-lars-christian-dahle from their founder and CEO.
Following assessment by DNV GL, the East London NHS Foundation Trust was successfully accredited to the (former) European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services (see http://telehealth.eastlondon.nhs.uk/). The service, guided by the TQG, is now making adjustments in order to be certified to the International Code. The telehealth service offered by the East London NHS Foundation Trust provides vital-signs monitoring support (via both fixed and mobile devices) to several hundred people with diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, COPD or a mix of these conditions. A video describes part of the service (see https://vimeo.com/65422393).
emCare offers ‘electronic and mobile care’ throughout Malta. This includes a telecare service for use within a home or outside (for the mobile). The company also offers a telehealth service focused on the remote monitoring of vital signs. The service is available for personal and business use (such as residential care). The company has launched a new application to support organisations offering domiciliary care. For iformation on their services see https://www.emcare360.com/. Also see www.medetel.lu/download/2014/parallel_sessions/presentation/day2/eHealth_In_Practice.pdf.
The Fold Group established a telecare service in 1993 that complemented its wider work in housing and social care (see http://www.foldgroup.co.uk/telecare). It piloted a telehealth service in 2000 and is now consolidating this work through their membership of the TF3 Consortium that manages the Telemonitoring NI (Northern Ireland) service. Information on their telehealth work and a video are available at http://www.foldgroup.co.uk/telehealth and http://www.telemonitoringni.info/index.php/partners/who-is-tf3/. Fold is also a member of the Telecare Services Association (UK).
Shepway Lifeline is a telecare service with 32 years of experience, wholly owned by and with the backing of Shepway District Council (the municipal authority). Part of its service is provided on behalf of the NHS Kent Community Health Trust. Its service credentials are attested to by their accreditation to the Telecare Services Association Code of Practice – including staffing and the operational procedures in place (e.g. for business continuity). The service is constantly evaluating new products and await development of web based telecare. More information is available at http://www.shepway.gov.uk/lifeline/ .
Hertfordshire Careline is committed to helping people stay independent in their own homes for longer, through assistive technology. The community alarm and telecare service operates on a non profit basis and is owned by the local council – working in collaboration with Hertfordshire Independent Living Services. It gives reassurance for 20,000 people. Notable is the fact that the service is shortlisted for a Local Government Chronicle Award and has been reported as able to ‘inspire the rest of local government’. More information is available at www.care-line.co.uk .
Hft is a major provider of services for people with learning disabilities in England. The organisation actively uses personalised technologies (PT) help people ‘live life the way they choose’. The technologies (whether simple and complex, mainstream or specially configured) include telecare, environmental controls and communication aids. The approach is recognised as applicable to other vulnerable groups as highlighted by Hft’s involvement in the Mi dallas programme. The organisation is exploring the effectiveness of PT to improve outcomes in the context of health and social care integration. More information is available at www.hft.org.uk (with videos showing the use of PT).
InspectLife (see www.inspectlife.cz) is a platform for services that offer support through telehealth, telecare and assistive technologies. The platform is provided by Mediware/MediInspect (www.mediware.cz) a spin-off company of the Czech Technical and Charles Universities. HealthInspect (www.healthinspect.cz) is the service arm. The approach draws on health and social care expertise. It is strongly focused on service integration – with foci that include the promotion of and effective use of installed devices and smartphones to monitor people’s vital signs, facilitate data and image transmission to enable video consultations.
Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust is transforming services, in partnership with GPs and social care, in order to provide community health services to around 750,000 people in Liverpool and Sefton. Notable, over two years, is the work of the Trust in partnership with social care and with GPs (through the Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, CCG) to provide telehealth solutions to around 3,000 patients with long-term conditions (COPD, heart failure and/or diabetes). Monitoring utilises the Philips Motiva telehealth platform. Lighter touch support is offered via Simple Telehealth’s ‘Flo’ text messaging service. More information is available at http://www.liverpoolcommunityhealth.nhs.uk/
Medvivo provide a range of remote care services that include telecare. The services provided through the Medvivo Careline differ from ‘traditional alarm-response centres’ by virtue of being integrated into the broader health and care environment. Both telecare and clinical advisors support service operation in order to ensure provision that is sensitised to individual needs (including prompts for appointments and supporting medication compliance) – giving reassurance to vulnerable people of all ages. For telehealth clinical triage takes place using specialist nurses. More information on the services (‘right approach, right technologies, right outcomes’) is available at http://www.medvivo.com/video/medvivo-integrating-health-and-care/ .
Self help is a user-led mental health charity based in the North West of England. We believe in people having a choice in mental health care. We offer a wide range of support, services and oppurtunities for people living with mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, phobias and panic attacks. These include: a 24-hour crisis line; peer support groups, facilitated by people who have personal experience of mental health problems; one-to-one (low and high intensity IAPT provision) therapies, eTherapy packages and structured courses and workshops.
Svensk Telepsykiatri (Swedish Telepsychiatry) was established in 2014 to provide mental health services to patients regardless of where they live. Their services are directed towards both public and private health care providers and individuals. Telepsychiatric consultations are provided via video-conferencing. The consultations include the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders (including through CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy), follow up sessions, second opinions and both the coaching and education of service users. A start-up package is also offered to psychiatric units that wish to develop telepsychiatry services. See www.telepsykiatri.se for further details.